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radio, online, and on social media network sites. find are content online to our video library. we take it on the road with our local content vehicle. it is washington your way, the c-span network, now available in 100 million homes. provided as a public service. >> tonight on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we will show you a pentagon remembered ceremony. also in the pennsylvania, a flight 93 memorial with first lady michelle obama and former first lady laura bush. following that, aviation officials and pilots recount their experiences during the terrorist attacks. president obama and defense secretary robert gates spoke at the ceremony at the pentagon today. they are joined by joint chiefs of staff chairman mike mullen.
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the president asked americans to honor the fallen by keeping alive americas shared virtues and values. from the pentagon, this is 35 minutes. >> the national anthem of the united states. nd playing "star-spangled
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banner"] >> ladies and gentlemen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of
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staff, admiral mike mullen. >> mr. president, secretary gates, distinguished guests, most of all families and friends of those we lost on 9/11, inside the pentagon, near the chapel, lies a quilt on display. it was stitched together by dozens of americans who simply wanted those of us who survived the attack on his building to note that day, our fellow citizens, would always remember those who did not. on that quilt are written these words by a little girl, "in our hearts, we weep for you. in our minds, we honor you." today, her words still comfort us, because today, we still weak for those we lost here and in new york -- weep for those we lost here, in new york, and in somerset county. we honor them with our presence
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and certainly with this memorial. mostly, we honor them with our lives, with what we have done from that day to this, the sacrifices we have borne, the laughter we have shared, the hope we have dared to let back into our hearts. unspeakable carnage was visited upon us here, but it did not conquer us. unimaginable loss was felled by a us here, but it does not diminish -- felt by us here, but it does not diminish us. what lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. let us weep for what lies behind us. let us honor what lies in front
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of us. let us remember always what lies side of us. -- inside of us. please join me now in imam -- in a moment of silence and remembrance. >> thank you dear ladies and gentleman, the secretary of defense, robert gates. >> thank you. friends and family members, thank you for being here.
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nine years ago today, on a day much like this, the column of the clear september morning was shattered by the worst act of terrorism in our history. the attack on the world trade center, flight 93 over pennsylvania, and the pentagon -- steps from where we stand today, claimed thousands of innocent victims and forever scarred their families and friends and all americans. we honor and remember those who fell, surrounded by those who love them and still feel the pain of their loss. this remembered continues in ways large and small. yesterday we had the official presentation of the pentagon 9/11 quilt featuring the faces of all 184 of those who died on these grounds. we are grateful for the work and dedication of the volunteers who brought that moving project into reality.
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just west of here, a portion of washington boulevard is being named 9/11 q rose memorial highway. it will remind those passing by -- heroes memorial highway. it will remind those passing by what happened. young americans answered the call to serve. thousands have made the ultimate sacrifice. their absence is felt today, too, and everyday. our troops and their families have paid a steep price these past nine years and have shown resilience end strength -- and strength to a country that cherishes their service and the memory of those who have fallen. we are honored that the president is here to help us commemorate this anniversary. it is my great pleasure to introduce our commander-in- chief, the president of the united states. [applause]
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>> secretary gates, admiral mullen, members of the armed forces, my fellow americans, most of all to you, the survivors who still bear the scars of the tragedy and destruction, to the families who are carrying in your hearts the memories of loved ones you lost nation, this is a day of remembering, of reflection, and with god's grace, a day of unity and renewal. we gathered to remember, at this hallowedur, on ground, the places where we feel such grief and where are healing
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goes on. we gather at the pentagon where the names of the lost are forever etched in stone. we gather in a pennsylvania field where a plane went down and a tower of voices will rise and echoed through the ages -- echo through the ages. we gather where the twin towers fell, a site where work continues so that next year, on the 10th anniversary, the water will flow in steady tribute to the nearly 3000 innocent lost. on this day, it is perhaps natural to focus on the images of that awful morning -- images that are seared into our souls. it is tempting to dwell on the final moments of the loved ones whose lives were taken so cruelly. at these memorials, your
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presence today reminds us to remember the fullness of their time on earth. there were fathers and mothers raising families, brothers and sisters pursuing their dreams, sons and daughters, their whole lives before them. they were civilians and service members. some never saw the danger coming. others saw the peril and rushed to save others, up those stairwells, into the flames coming into the cockpit. there were white, black, brown, men, women, children. all races, many faiths. americans and people from far corners of the world. they were snatched from us senselessly and much too soon, but they lived well.
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they live on in you. nine years have now passed. in that time, you have shed more tears that we will ever know. though it must seem some days as though the world has gone on to other things, i say to you today that your loved ones endure in the heart of our nation now and forever. our remembrances today also requires a certain reflection -- require a server reflection as a nation and as individuals. -- require a certain reflection as a nation and as individuals. how do we preserve their legacy, not just today, but every day? we need not look far for our answers.
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the perpetrators of this evil act did not simply attack america. they attacked the very idea of america itself, all that we stand for and represent in the world. the highest honor we can pay those we lost, indeed, our greatest weapon in this ongoing war, is to do what our adversaries fear the most -- stayed true to who we are as americans, renew our sense of common purpose, to say that we define the character of our country and we will not let the acts of some small band of murderers who slaughter the innocent and cower in caves distort who we are. they doubted our will. as americans, we persevered.
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today in afghanistan and beyond, we have gone on the offensive and struck major blows against the al qaeda and the taliban. we will do what is necessary to protect our country. we honor all those who served to keep us safe. they may seek to strike fear in us, but they are no match for our resilience. we do not succumb to fear, nor will we squander the optimism that has always defined as as a people -- us as a people. on a day when others saw to destroy, we have chosen to build. we have summoned the goodness of the american people. they may think to exploit our freedoms, but we will not sacrifice the liberty we cherish or hunker down behind walls of suspicion and mistrust.
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they may wish to drive us apart, but we will not give in to their hatred and prejudice. scripture teaches us to get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. they may seek to spark conflict between different faiths, but as americans we are not and will never be at war with islam. it was not our religion that attacked us that september day. it was al-qaeda, a story band of men which perverts' religion -- sorry band of men which perverts religion. we will stay true to our traditions here it home as a burst and tolerant nation -- as a diverse and tolerant nation.
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we champion the rights of every american, including the right to worship as one chooses. those who attack saw to demoralize, divide, deprive us of the very unity and the very ideals that make america america -- the qualities that have made as a beacon of freedom and hope to billions around the world -- made us a begin of freedom and hope -- beacon of freedom and hope to billions around the world. we will keep alive the virtues and values that make us who we are and who we must always be. for our cause is just, our spirit is strong, our resolve is unwavering. generations before us have come
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together. let us come to get there today and all days to a firm certain inalienable rights. to affirm life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. on this day and in the days to come, we choose to stay true to our best selves as one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. this is how we choose to honor the fallen. your families, your friends, your fellow service members. this is how we will keep alive the legacy of these proud and patriotic americans. this is how we will prevail in this great test of our time. this is how we will preserve and protect the country that we love and pass it safer and stronger
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to future generations. may god bless you and your families, and may god continue to bless the united states of america. [applause] ♪
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♪ ♪ [brass quintet continues playing "america, the
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beautiful"] ♪
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>> now to a ceremony in shanks know, pa., marking the ninth anniversary of the -- shanksville, pa., marking the ninth anniversary of the flight 93 attack. first lady michelle obama, former first lady laura bush, and governor rendell attended this memorial. this is one hour, 35 minutes.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome michelle obama, former first lady laura bush, joanne hanley, and governor ed rendell. [applause]
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>> please be seated, everybody. >> good morning. what a good morning it is. how wonderful it is to be able to welcome mrs. obama and mrs. bush here today, secretary salazar, governor rendell, gordon felt. thank you for the privilege of sharing this stage with you this morning. to our family members, the loved ones and the friends of the passengers and crew of flight 93, welcome and comfort and peace be with you today. this thing -- the distinguished guests that we have today are many. a warm welcome to mrs. mursa, -- mrs. murtha, the wife of our
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beloved and late congressman john murtha. [applause] judge rendell, current first lady of pennsylvania. [applause] and mrs. michelle ridge, the former first lady of pennsylvania. [applause] former secretary of the interior and national parks director, welcome. senator kucinich and county commissioners, as well as representatives from our senator and congress offices. neal mulholland and chris
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sullivan. [applause] and the architects of our beautiful memorial and our landscape architect. [applause] we also just want to recognize that there are many students here from the high school. also, welcome to our general counsel. [applause] most important is all of you, not only our partners, the flight 93 federal advisory commissioner, are newly formed friends -- our newly-formed friends of flight 93, and all of
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you who show up to support this memorial. we hope that our flight 93 families are comforted by you, there american family. -- their american family. there have been many changes and much progress with the help of our community, our partners, our friends, and our elected officials. it is because of you that we stand here today. it is like a family reunion. we remember and honor the past. we mourned the loss of life. we also seize this moment in time to commemorate. we look to next year and the future with anticipation, with hope, with pride, and with humility. most of all, with thanks. we recommit today to never forget. we are in the process of creating history and creating a our heritage. how we respond as a nation and
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heal and how we remained strong will be remembered in future generations. on this beautiful day, overlooking the final resting place of the 40 passengers and crew, and we begin with remarks from secretary of the interior ken salazar who has been instrumental and pivotal on so many successes in this project. he is a fifth-generation colorodoan. he was confirmed on january 20, 2009, in a unanimous vote and by the senate. prior to his confirmation, he served as colorado's 35th u.s. senator. as secretary of the interior, he works to protect america's natural resources and heritage. the honors our cultures and tribal communities and supplies the energy to powder -- to power our future.
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he is a good friend to fly 93 and has visited this site many times. please welcome secretary of the interior, ken salazar. [applause] >> thank you, joanne. it is my honor to welcome you all to the here -- all here to the ninth anniversary for the heroes of flight 93. i would welcome the first lady of the united states, michelle obama, and our first lady laura bush. my former colleague and former secretary of the interior also for his work on this project. when president obama pointed me, he asked as -- appointed me, he asked that i served as a custodian for this chapter of american history. this is my fourth visit to the
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memorial site since becoming secretary of the interior. i have had the honor of working with the family and friends of the heroes of flight 93. i also have had the honor of working with the landowners and the community of shanksville, whose lives, like the rest of the nation, were irrevocably changed on that day nine years ago. the location for this year's service is especially significant as we return to the western overlook where the journey began nine years ago. this is where the pennsylvania state police line to the ridge on horseback -- lined the ridge on horseback as the families were first brought to view the wreckage. this is where the other agencies carried out their duties. many of those who served in the investigation and recovery efforts are with us in the audience today.
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for the first responders, around -- a round of applause. [applause] this is also the place where the media gave the nation and the world their first glimpse of the crash site. this is the place where a community in nation came together, the red cross and salvation army and good samaritans demonstrated great compassion and care here. local residents of this community and county opened their home and heart to the families and to the nation. a small memorial of pay bills was placed at the overlook where families could leave -- of hay bales was placed at the overlook where families could leave flowers and other items. still adding we're
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to that simple memorial. the nation in the world have joined the salute. you will hear from distinguished speakers today. i want to impart with you the confidence that the department of the interior, in our capacity as to words of national parks and historic sites for our great nation, is committed to building this memorial. because of the work here, we're on our way, with the friends and families of flight 93 and so many others, to be able to dedicate, on the 10th-year anniversary. it is my hope that when our children and grandchildren visit this memorial, and when our thoughts come to this solemn place, that they will understand the sold -- selfless acts of
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the heroes of 9/11. i hope they will walk a hollow ground and feel the power and resilience -- the hallowed ground and feel the power and the resilience of the american spirit. they will know that our nation, like the 40 men and women on flight 93, responded to those acts of terrorism with her rich -- with courage. actions intended to divide the nation instead rekindled unity, strength, and resolved. -- and resolve. thank you for the opportunity to speak and to help build this memorial on behalf of a grateful nation. [applause] >> thank you, mr. secretary. reverend robert way from the
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good shepherd cooperatively lutheran ministries will lead us in the indication and ask for blessings -- invocation and ask for a blessing. >> i asked you to gather your heart and your mind as we gather together in prayer. you who alone are holy, you who are the on, true god -- one, true god, with love, compassion, and healing look upon us, people of different faiths and traditions, who gathered here this morning in mortem. we ask you in your goodness to be with us as we come together. we are a broken people. we tend to separate ourselves daily by race, class, creed, and
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politics, but we gather now with a unified purpose and goal. we are one people in this attempt to honor those who died in acts of heroism, first responders, firefighters, emergency workers, police officers, and especially those who fought hand-to-hand against the terrorists in the skies above this precious tract of land. we ask you, in your compassion, to bring healing to those who still deeply grieved loss of their loved ones. give them strength to continue their lives with strength and hope. remember our 40 heroes and also those who suffer death, injury, and loss on that day. we give tribute to those who fight on behalf of our country in foreign lands as we reflect on the loss bay and their families incur. -- the loss they and their
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families incur. bring peace to our violent world. reform those whose hearts and minds are consumed with revenge. inform those who seek to cause discord in strife. grant that we may all live in such a way as to honor the sacrifices made on our behalf and on behalf of those people we have yet to meet. bless our endeavor as we continue to make progress toward a proper and lasting memorial that reflects their sacrifice was not in vain. as this land once again gives way to machinery, made the scars left upon it by the mining industry -- may the s cars left upon it by the mining industry, by flight 93, and by the development of the memorial give way to the healing of the land and of our hearts. give us the wisdom and courage
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to work tirelessly for a world where peace becomes the norm, where low for one another is not merely a prayer by the religious, -- where love for one another is not merely a prayer by the religious. we come before you hundley, knowing that you know the intent -- you humbly, knowing that you know the intent of our hearts. bless us and our nation. less the activities of this day, that are strivings would be in -- bless the activities of this day, that our strivings would be in line with your will. amen. >> please stand, if you are able, for the presentation and posting of the colors by the summer said volunteer fire department, one of the first responders -- somerset volunteer fire department, one of the first responders to the scene on
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some timber 11, 2001, and for the -- on september 11, 2001, and for the national anthem. see oh, say, can you by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous night o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming glaree rockets' red the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there
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oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave land of the free and the home of the brave ♪ color guard, post the colors.
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>> please be seated perio. rev. paul britain, brother of a passenger, will lead us in a moment of silence in memory and honor of the heroes from flight 93. >> we were reminded that god will elicit from each of us the
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best and that god will also enable each of us to bear the worked that can befall us. what rabbi kaplan does not remind of -- does not remind us of is that the best that is in us generally comes out when the worst that can happen to us occurs. before that moment, most of us could not believe courage, the hope, the acts that we can live out until the worst befalls us.
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in those moments when we cannot believe what god can do it through us, we can close our eyes and remember the 40 baface. we can close our eyes and remember this field. we can pause and remember their deeds, for in many ways they did not know the best of themselves them ande worst the febefell god moved through them. let us pause in silence and the prayers of our hearts.
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amen. >> the names of the passenger and crew will be read by their loved ones, family members of flight 93. the bells of remembrance will be wrong by students of the shanksville high school who were in class that day in 2001.
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>> christian adams. [bell rings] lorraine g. bay. [bell rings] todd m. beemer [bell rings] alan anthony bevin
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[bell rings] mark gerald bingham [bell rings] theora francis godley [bell rings] sandy bradshaw [bell rings] marianne r. briton [bell rings] thomas e. burnett, jr.
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[bell rings] william joseph cashman [bell rings] georgine rose corgan [bell rings] patricia cushing [bell rings] jason m. dolph [bell rings]
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joseph [unintelligible] [bell rings] patrick joseph driscoll [bell rings] my husband, edward [unintelligible] [bell rings] james c. [unintelligible] [bell rings] colleen laura frazier, my hero. [bell rings]
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andrew garcia [bell rings] jeremy logan glick [bell rings] christian white-gould [bell rings] laura francolis, an unborn child [bell rings] wanda anita green rings] donald friedman green
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[bell rings] linda runlon [bell rings] richard j. [unintelligible] [bell rings] leroy palmer [bell rings] [unintelligible] [bell rings] c.c. ross [bell rings]
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waliska martinez [bell rings] nicole carol miller [bell rings] lewis joseph nagy, ii [bell rings] donald arthur peterson [bell rings]
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gene hodley peterson [bell rings] mark david rothenberg [bell rings] christine ann snyder [bell rings] john [bell rings]
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elizabeth winea [bell rings] debra jacob welch [bell rings] >> we will now hear from our speakers. thank you to the families for ringing the bells and reading the names.
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gov. rendell, thank you for coming today and thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts and your reflections. it is an honor to have you here. it is also a comfort. you and your entire team in harrisburg have been and continue to be one of our biggest supporters and advocates. i note that you keep your printer on the pulse of all we are doing. you visit us whenever you can't and you are already -- and you're always ready to jump in. we could not do this without you. we are honored to have you with us today. please welcome our governor, our partner, and our friend, governor rendell. [applause] >> good morning. when we first visited the site might first year as governor, i
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did not know the profound effect it would have on us. i did not know just how important it was that what we do here be done right. provide not only a lasting memorial to a great human beings, but to tell a story that is important to all americans and all future generations to understand, to hear, and to know. towards that end, the commonwealth of pennsylvania has been pleased to be able to contribute $19 million towards these efforts. i was able to convince the pennsylvania legislature to appropriate this money unanimously. for those of you were not pennsylvanian, you have to understand what an incredible feat that is. [laughter] the pennsylvania legislature could not agree unanimously that today was saturday. [laughter]
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when flight 93 crossed into pennsylvania, the fight to defend and protect our country was already under way. it was a fight that we won. we won at great cost -- the cost of 40 wonderful lives. none of the passengers and crew of flight 93 were pennsylvanian, but the moment that the plane hit the ground, their names became indelibly etched in the history of the commonwealth of pennsylvania. they joined many great men and women to joined to protect and defend it the freedom and liberty of this great country. along with benjamin franklin
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who committed treason and risked his life to give birth to this new nation. along with general george marshall of uniontown who helped lead the allied war effort in world war ii and, as secretary of state, helped rebuild our allies throughout the world. general george mcclellan and george meade to, at gettysburg, led the republic in a battle to keep this nation as one. daniel boone of redding, the great frontiers men and mary hayes of carlisle who became known as the legendary molly pitcher to in 1778, took water
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to the soldiers and the artillery men in the field fighting. she took water to a hell of cannon and bullets. when her husband was wounded letting a cannon, she took our husbands place and in 100 degree heat for over five hours stood there and was where did herself as she helped to load and fired a cannon. they were all pennsylvania heroes. so were the 40 men and women we honor today. on behalf of 12.5 million pennsylvanian, we say that we will never forget what they did it over our skies. we will always remember them. [applause] >> thank you, governor.
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we are honored to have with us the president of the families of flight 93 whose brother, passenger edward f. phelps, a chance with his wife donna. mr. phelps never thinks about his loss alone, but always thinks about the loss of the others. he is an amazing spokesperson for this project. he is compassionate and honest. he is a wonderful partner in all situations. we are lucky and blast and honored to have you with us. please welcome mr. gordon phelps. [applause] >> i am deeply honored to have
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the privilege of representing the families of flight 93 again this year. as we take the time to remember 40 extraordinary individuals, first lady michelle obama, laura bush, secretary salazar, the governor rendell, and all of those who have come to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on this field of honor. i am humbled by your presence. thank you for joining us to remember. we have experienced great loss, struggled with strong emotions, formed a new alliances. with each step, we have developed a clarity of purpose that sustains us. we see on the very ground before and around us the initial statement -- the initial stages -- a tribute to 48 individuals
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who reported the attack on our country. they prevented the loss of lives on the ground in washington, d.c., and helped to preserve our capital, one the most revered symbols of democracy. their actions have fittingly been woven into the fabric of our history. each individual crewmember and passenger will not be forgotten by a grateful nation. on this night anniversary of september 11, we return to the site where our families and burst came to face our smallest -- or face our loss. i am truly moved to once again stand with them when members, first responders, so many in the somerset community, and members of the media who were here in this early, difficult days. we have come full circle and can once again looked out across
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this western overlooked review the help of ground on which the actions of the 40 heroes of flight 93 lost their lives, but won an important victory that our nation will not send forget. my recollection of the first visit to this site was printed on my memory. the buses travelled across the roads of rural, southwest pennsylvania. we were selected by police officers, providers, first responders, as well as met by citizens holding american flags, children holding the hands of their families, all in tribute to the actions of our loved ones. that is when i realized that my brother edward and the 39 other heroes on flight 93 had not only forged a bond between themselves
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and rebuild their clarity of purpose beyond our comprehension, but also forged a bond between those of us left behind. the families of flight 93, the people of somerset county and the surrounding area, the citizens of the great commonwealth of pennsylvania or partners with the national park service, the friends of flight 93, the national park foundation, the flight 93 memorial ambassadors or representatives in washington as well as in harrisburg, and supporters around america and across the world have allowed us to stand here today and witness the birth of a national memorial. 1.4 million visitors, 65,000 different contributors, nearly 100 volunteers, and several hundred participants in a
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unprecedented partnership have, to their presence or participation, made an invaluable contribution to the development of this memorial. yet, we look forward to the 10th anniversary of september 11 for the official dedication of the flight 93 national memorial, our work is not done. not only do we need to ensure the timely completion of the memorial, we need to continue to actively remember september 11, not in anger, but with vigilance. not in despair, but with hope. not with diminished reverence, but with the inspiration. when the message that i hope resonates with all who visit the memorial or hear the story of our loved ones, the message is that under horrific conditions, at a moment's notice, courage is revealed, heroes are born, and
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total strangers can form a bond that overcomes adversity and inspires generations to come. our loved ones, their actions spoke for themselves. now it is our turn to speak for our loved ones. thank you. [applause] >> the flight 93 national memorial lost a true champion this year with the passing of congressman john murtha. mrs. márquez has joined us today. we are honored by her presence and recognize the support that she provided to the congressman, enabling him to be the most ardent champion of this project in washington. he spearheaded the creation of the memorial in the house of
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representatives and was responsible for ensuring that the early seed money for the project was provided. the families of flight 93 could always count on the congressman to assist us in our efforts. john murtha's leadership and commitment to the memorial will be sorely missed. i ask you all for a moment of reverent silence in remembrance of congressman murtha. thank you. >> thank you, gordon. i am now have the honor and pleasure and the privilege of
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introducing you to mrs. laura bush. this is not her first time here to the site. in the days immediately following 9/11, mrs. bush was here. she came to pay her respects and to grieve with those that lost their loved ones. during a time of unspeakable tragedy, mrs. dish brought calm -- mrs. bush brought call and comfort to those she visited with and those who watched around the nation. each time mrs. bush has come to this place, her compassion has been felt by all who had been with her. she is a lifelong love for of our national parks, and her presence here at one of our nation's newest national parks help convey the importance of this place. please join me in a warmly welcoming mrs. laura bush. [applause]
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>> thank you, you all. thank you very much. thank you, you all. thank you, joanne. thank you for your good work here for the national parks system and, especially, for this flight 93 memorial. i am honored to mark this day with the families of flight 93. i am happy to be here with the first lady to serve our country .ith such grace period \ / thank you governor when dell for your good work. thank you for representing the families. when i was first year on september 17, 2001, this quiet
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field was guard might smoldering -- scarred by a smoldering crater. our party was heavy. we were just learning the names of those aboard flight 93 in the story of their sacrifice. this peaceful place was not chosen by the terrorists. they had other targets for their violence and hate. this spot was chosen by the passengers of flight 93 to spare our country from even greater harm. as we gather to remember those who were lost and honor their courage, we are deeply grateful. the events of 9/11 grow distant in time, but they remained did did in the memory of our nation and in the hearts of those who suffered such a great loss.
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over the years, we blurred the stories of the last minutes of flight 93. passengers at placed calls to authorities to warn them of the hijacking. we know they called family members to assure them of their love and to tell them of their plans. one passenger called his wife and said, "i know we are all going to die. there are three of us who are going to do something about it. i love you, honey." we know in the midst of their fear, they were called by their faith. a crew member called her husband and told him they were going to rush the hijackers. over the ball he heard other passengers whispering the 23rd psalm, "yea, though i walk to the valley of the shadow of death i shall fear no evil for thou art with me." nine years ago in the skies
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above this field and in washington and i in new york city, we saw all the worst of our enemies and the best of our nation. we were suddenly reminded of many forgotten lessons. we saw that there is people in the world, but also good at the heart of our country. america was attacked, but the deepest belief of our democracy was vindicated. that our greatness and straight is found in the character of our citizens. americans responded with heroism, selflessness, with compassion and courage, and with prayer and hope. in our grief, we learned that our faith is an active faith. that we are called to serve and care for one another and to bring hope and comfort where there is despair and sorrow.
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we remember 9/11 not only as a day of great loss, but as a day of recommitment to certain enduring values. with the innocent are attacked, americans defend them. when the innocent suffer, americans rallied to their aid. in the face of terror, americans chose to overcome evil with good. it was following the tragic events of that september morning that we saw the goodness of the lord in the land of the living. we saw it here in shanksville -- as shanksville purse responders rushed to this field and in the endurance of those who worked exhaustingly to reach those trapped in the towers and the pentagon. americans participated in blood drives, candlelight vigils, and
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memorial services saying prayers in english, hebrew, and arabic. we found unity in the shared grief. when this field was marked by smoldering ashes, now there is green grass. but the passage of time cannot erase the images etched in our minds from that column september morning. we remember the moment the news came, where we were and what we were doing. george and i grieved with the families whose loved ones perished on that bright blue morning. we thought about your loss every day that we lived in the white house and your stories remain close to our hearts. george sends his love. today we join with all americans as we pause to remember those most affected by that date. we remember the families and friends of the lost and we
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still steal the wounds of september 11. we know the memories of your loved ones have not aged by time. you inspire us with your grace and strength. we remember the law enforcement and intelligence personnel to stand watch on our behalf at every hour. we remember the men and women of our military to oppose radicalism and terrorism at this very at work in afghanistan, iraq, and other places around the world. on this day, americans have a new division. together we recall the events that changed each one of us and that united our nation. together we honor the lost in silence and we remember that our quiet and peace is always defended by the courage of the
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brave. thank you, you all. god bless you and god bless america. [applause] ♪ [piano playing amazing grace]
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when you walk through the storm hold your head up high afraid of the dark at the end of the storm is a golden sky and the peaceful song of the lord ♪18 walk on through the wind walk on through the rain
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walk on, walk on open your heart aloneu'll never walk alone never walk alone walk on through the wind walk on through the rain walk on, walk on
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open your heart aloneu'll never walk you'll never walk alone you'll neverwalk, walk you'll never walk alone ♪ walk on walk on [applause]
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>> thank you so much. thank you so much for those wonderful words, mrs. bush. yet proven again to be a source of strength and comfort to the families in this community. now it is my extreme honor and privilege to introduce to you mrs. michele obama, the first lady of the united states of america who has also demonstrated her dedication continuously to american stock heroes -- to america's heroes. she glanced at her passionate voice to the men and women whose services and sacrifice keep us safe. her tireless advocacy on their behalf reminds us of the values that unite us all, even at our most difficult moments, love of
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country, respect for our nation's heroes, and the obligation that each of us has to give something back to our community. first, let me welcome mrs. obama to the families of flight 93. [applause] >> thank you, everyone. thank you so much. thank you, joanne, for that very kind introduction. it is a privilege and an honor to be here today as we pay tribute to the men and women of flight 93. i want to acknowledge secretary salazar, the governor rendell,
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and i want to thank them all for their leadership and for their service. i also want to thank reverend britain and weighed four leading us in prayer. -- reverend briton and wade for leading us in prayer. i also want to thank mrs. bush all her work to help our nation pill in the days and months after the attack. thank you. [applause] i come here today not just as first lady on behalf of my husband and a grateful nation, i come as an american filled with a sense of all that the heroism
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of my fellow citizens. i come as a wife, a daughter, a sister heartbroken at the loss said many of you have endured. i come as a mother, thinking about what my daughter's and what all of our sons and daughters can learn from the 40 men and women whose memories we honor today. the men and women of flight 93 were college students, grandparents, businessmen, pilots, flight attendants -- there was a writer, an antique dealer, a lawyer, an engineer. they came from all different backgrounds and all walks of life. they all took a different path on that september morning. in that awful moment when the
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facts became clear and they were called to make an impossible choice, they all found the same result. they agreed to the same bold plan. they called the people they loved, many of them giving comfort instead of seeking it, explaining that they were taking action and that everything would be okay. then they rose as one. they acted as one. together they changed history's course. in the days that followed when we learned about the heroes of flight 93 and what they had done, we were proud, we were awed, we were inspired, but i do not think any of us were surprised because it was clear
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that these 40 individuals were no strangers to service and to sacrifice. for them putting others before themselves was nothing new. they were veterans, coaches, and volunteers of all sorts of causes. there was the disability rights advocate that carried a miniature copy of the constitution everywhere she went. there was the census director who used to return to the home she canvassed to drop off clothing and food to the families in need. there was the couple who quietly used their wealth to make interest free loans to struggling families. to this day, they remind us not just of how they gave their lives, but how they lived their lives. being a hero is not just a matter of fate, it is a matter
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of choice. i think someone put it best -- his wife was a passenger on the flight -- he said, "they were ordinary citizens stone into a combat situation. nobody was a general or a dictator. their first thought was to be selfless. they knew there was a 98% chance they were not going to make it. they saved others." the men and women on that plane and never met those whose lives they saved, yet they willingly made the sacrifice. before 9/11, the people of this community did not know any of the families cure today. -- of the families here today, yet they embrace them as their own, inviting them into their
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homes, guarding the sacred spot day after day, lovingly cataloguing every item, momento, photograph, every letter left as a temporary memorial. over the past nine years, more than 1 million people have come here to pay their respects, to express their gratitude, to try in their own small way to ease the burden of these families grieve by honoring the people they love. all of this reminds us that while this memorial begins here in shanksville, it does not end at the edges of this field. it extends to all of the state saved whose lives today or possible because they gave theirs. it extends to all of those they inspired to thought to themselves, "it they can do
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something that extraordinary with their lives, then maybe, just maybe it is time i made it something more of mind." maybe it is time i wore my country's uniform. maybe it is time i gave more to my community. maybe it's time for me to be a better friend, a better neighbor, a better american. most of all, this memorial extends to all their families whose lives were shaped by their love. i am taking especially today of the children, toddlers who have grown into young men and women, teenagers who have become adults who will one day bring their own children to this place and tell them about the proud legacy they inherit. sonali bevins was just five-
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years old when she lost her father. in the midst of the shock and the heartbreak of hearing the news, she said to her mother, "i am said a sad, but i am cannot be said this girl in the whole world because children lost their mommy and daddy. " muriel was just 10 when she lost her sister. in a speech on the one-year anniversary she called for a worldwide moment of peace. she asked people, and this is her ", "to make a pledge, to do a good deed that will help mankind in some small way, even if it is a hug, a kiss, a smile, a wave, a prayer, where just
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silent thought of once they love." i know that all of the young people here have done their very best to be strong for their families and to hold the memories of their loved ones close. and to live their lives in a way that would make them proud. i know it has not been easy. while grief has its own course for each of us and no one can presume to know what your families have felt, i can't imagine that there are days when the pain is still raw, when the time and distance of those nine years at all way and that loss is still fresh. but i can also imagine that as time has passed, there have been more good days, more moments when you are able to find joy
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and comfort and happy memories. i can't imagine that on those better days, maybe sometimes you worry that in moving on, you may in some ways be leaving your loved ones behind. i cannot help but think this it is just the opposite. that in having the courage to move forward, you honored their courage. that in choosing to live your own life as fully as you can't, you are celebrating there's. that in coming together and pushing ahead to build this permanent memorial, you are ensuring that their memory will always be a part, not just of your own mind, but of the light of this nation. know that because you kept going, because he persevered, that long after you are going,
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people will come here -- continue to come here to shanksville, and they will stand at this plaza and listen to the echoes of those times and gazed out at this field. they will see how a scholar in the earth has healed. how it has grown that as a peaceful resting place for 40 of our nation's heroes. they will understand that because of all of you, a sight of devastation and destruction was transformed into a place of reverence and remembrance. it is truly my prayer today that in the years ahead all who come here and all of you may be filled with the hope that is written in the book of psalms,
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"the you may have seen troubles of many and bitter, you will restore my life again from the depths of the earth, you will again bring me up. they the memory of those who gave their lives here continue to be a blessing for all of you in an inspiration for all americans. thank you all. god bless you and god bless america. [applause]
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>> thank you, mrs. obama. does or inspirational and beautiful words. i think they are words, not only for the families, but for all of us. thank you for reminding us of what is important. thank you. we are coming to the close of this year's commemoration. i would ask everybody if you are able to stand for the retiring of the colors. this will be followed by reverend robert wade giving our closing indication. -- closing invocation.
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>> please join me in prayer. almighty and gracious god, the words that we have heard today should once again ranked in our ears as they had in the past that we may be moved in service to one another. now, may our god, who is slow to judge, because of all knowledge, give us patience and understanding of those who differ from us and fill us with insight when we act without thinking. maybe god of mercy be merciful to us when we want a brother or sister. maybe god of truth and for us when we choose our own way without thinking of the needs of others. maybe god of peace kill us with
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peace that we may rest in charity all the days of our lives. amen. >> please be seated. before we leave today, i want to thank the many people who have helped to make this possible. most of all, to first lady michelle obama and mrs. laura bush. [applause] thank you you both for coming. thank you you both for caring and for leading our nation today in paying our respects. please everyone, take a moment to read in your programs all of the people, all the companies that have contributed their time, their talent, and their
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funds to help us today. on behalf of the national park service and the flight 93 partners, we are grateful for all of you who come here today, who come here and throughout the year, to come here every day, the thousands and thousands of visitors across the country. you support us and visit us on our website, you to paul was on face book, all of the sustain us. you help us to keep our passion and commitment to this memorial ignited and on fire. we are all so proud and humble to be part of this with you. we are blessed and privileged to be part of this great nation and to be part of the legacy of this nation to the national parks. i would ask everyone to please stay in your seats until the
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speakers and the first ladies have departed in their motorcade. just a few words of instruction -- following the departure of our speakers today and our special guest, all of our guests are encouraged to write a personal message on the back of your written that he received when you came in. thesee invited to tidiee ribbons to the fence behind you. they will be left up for a time and then placed in the archives. we want to thank, especially, the friends of the flight 93 national memorial for giving us the support that we had needed of the last several days. at this time, also, as we are dismissed, family members are invited to be overlooked behind
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meat for a private moment. for the next 30 minutes or so, this front area will be for the families only. finally, have a safe journey home or wherever you are going. thank you again. god bless you. god bless america and keep the spirit alive. we'll see you all next year. [applause]
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>> our coverage of today's september 11 events continue with aviation officials and pilots recounting their experiences during the terrorist attacks. and another chance to see president barack obama and defense secretary robert gates at the pentagon. then the flight 93 national moral with first lady michelle obama. >> saturday, a look at issues
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facing candidates heading into the 2010 midterm elections. then shaun waterman of "the washington times" stops by. then the senior economist for the center for american cars. "washington journal" takes your calls and e-mails starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c- span. >> here is a look at some of our politics programming sunday. first, a democratic massachusetts gov. debate at 6:30 p.m. then a new hampshire republican senate primary debate at 9:30 p.m. >> i disagree that there's nothing to cut out of state government. >> that is not what i said. >> clean up some of the a administrative obligations. stuff that i have talked about
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that no one else just talked about appeared >> let's talk about results. we have done more consolidation in it this administration than any other administration. >> name 1. >> i will name three. we just combined 3 of the agencies involved in economic development because we do not need the unnecessary duplication. we move to the housing agency into mass development. that is just one example, and there are many. >> that is so on the margins. >> i am talking about results. you talked about the pension system. kim has talked about the pension system. we're the only ones who got it done. >> ok. you still have a $22 billion unfunded program. >> you never evensong at the ball. >> first of all, we have to acknowledge that the national security includes border security. that is the first job of the federal government and it has not been doing its job. i propose that we build a wall
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and secure the border. there's no way we cannot. providing security along the border, the state ought to be able to do it if the fed of garment does not. i support arizona and the arizona law. i have read that law. it is the state's sovereign responsibility to protect its citizens as well. one of the other candidates in this race did not support the arizona law. i think we differ on that issue. but going forward, we have to have a tough immigration policy to make sure that employers who knowingly employ illegal immigrants are punished and the poor people who are here illegally and make sure we have a solid immigration policy. >> watch our continuing political coverage today at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> up next, a look at the
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september 11 terrorist attacks with several air traffic controllers to talk about their experiences that today. this hour and a 20-minute portion is tested by the university of texas at dallas. >> we welcome back the very special person, without him this event would not have been possible. although not flying on september 11, 2001, as a pilot, she enlisted the tarmac and frustration felt by her colleagues who were thrust into the chaos of 9/11. she was inspired to write a definitive account of that day's events. it is with our pleasure and gratitude that we welcome back lynn spencer who will moderate the panel. lynn? [applause]
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>> thank you to everybody for being here today. thank you to the staff at the university of texas' dallas to make this possible. september 11, nine years ago today, was our nation's second pearl harbor. when the smoke cleared, the loss of life was actually greater. the loss to our nation was difficult. all of us remember where we were, what we were doing, and how we felt as the news of the attacks was broadcast over all of the news networks.
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most of us have the opportunity to experience through those -- experience as a test your television in the privacy of our own homes where we will able to take in and processed and greek over what was occurring to our nation. of learning about the events on their televisions. these were the individuals that were on the front lines that day. they were the men and the people that we will be talking with today did not have that luxury of learning about the events on their televisions. we had not prepared for what happened that day. they were called upon to improvise. their actions and their
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decisions could either cost lives or save lives. for me, as an airline pilot, the was not flying that day, i had a burning desire to understand what it was like for these people that were in the air traffic control facility, and the cockpit, and in the military battle pats and command centers. none of what i knew about aviation seemed to apply to what happened that day. so it was with ts a burning desire to know these answers that i set out to talk to these people and to learn about their perspectives. it is with a sincere gratitude and appreciation of that these people are here today and that they are here to talk to us all about to their perspective.
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it is my belief that our nation's legacy of that todaday cannot be complete until we hear from these people and until we understand what happened in that the air. these attacks were born out of four commercial airliners being hijacked. this was an air attack on the united states. although the devastating effects were lived and relived on our televisions from the graphic images coming out of the new york and the pentagon and pennsylvania, until we can understand how it happened, and why the respoe was what it was, we cannot fully understand the events in context. our legacy cannot be complete until we hear from these people. so, i hope you will leave here
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today with a greater understanding a september 11th, 2001. it is my hope that you will leave here with a sense of pride for the bravery that was shown by these people, their ingenui, their resourcefulness, their courage. also, perhaps most importantly, i hope you leave here today with the realization that had it not been for the acts of these people, 9/11 could have been a much greater tragedy than it was. we are going to start off today with the air traffic control perspective of september 11th. befe i introduce our panelists, i would like to share a few thoughts and kind of set the stage for these people. the job of an air traffic
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controller is a very unique job. as a general rule, air-traffic controllers like to control. they like to be in control. their jobs are high stress, a fast pace, highly structured, highly regimented. if they do everything by the buck. they are very -- they do everything by the book. they are very predictable in what they expect you to do and what thewill do in response. hijackings were a thing of the past, pretty much, in 2001. september 11th was a beautiful day, a severe clear, in pilot speak. air-traffic controllers were
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expecting a pretty goo day. there were no severe weather systems to deal with. hijackings were the last thing on their mind that today. on that day, none of the rules that they knew applied. the situation demanded that they improvise. without further delay, i would like to introduce to the panel members. first i would like to start with the air traffic controller at washington national air force facility, dan creden. next, the national commander at the faa command center on 9/11. and the air traffic controller at boston center and military liaison.
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>> i will start off with a question for all of you. answer in whatever order you want to. you do not necessarily nd to go down the line. on september 11th, it took some time for the a traffic facilities and the military to figure out what was happening. i would like to hear from each of you, how did you figure out what was happening on that day? >> good morning. >> sorry. before we get into the first question -- sorry about this. before we get into the first question. why do you not all tell the audience a little bit about
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yourself and what you were doing that day? where you were at, what was expected? let's set the stage. >> on 9/11, was the air traffic controller at the washington national air trans. i was responsible for their departure from the capital going eased down. it was a crazy day. -- going eastbound. it was a crazy day. >> i was the national operations manager on 9/11. that is a position lated in the washington area that has overarching authority over the nation's airspace. that was my chart on that day, the safe and efficient operation of the nation's aerospace. >> on 9/11, i was assigned to the boston tunnel as an air-
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traffic controller. i also do military specialist duties as assigned as well. on that day, i normally do not work on the operational floor, and i was called down to the operational floor at about 8:30 a.m. that morng. >> so cane hear from youave you made sense of what was happening and how you learned it was not going to be a nice clear day? >> for me, at washington national, at the radar facility for the nation's capital, we first heard about new york. people at, felt that watching television had a better picturef -- people at home watching television had a better picture of what was happening
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then we did at my facility. everything going through new york had stopped, we heard. then we heard that an aircraft had hit one of the towers. we were not quite sure what was going on inhere. then we heard that a second tower was hit. my heart just sank. i knew. it was going to be a bad day. for me personally, it was not until we spotted american 77 on its way to crash into the pentagon 3.5 seconds out, that is when reality hit, accordi home for me. >> that was my first day on the job as national operations manager. [laughter] when i got up that morning and
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looked at the weaer cnnel and saw that the entire east coast had a severe clear, i thought it would be a good first day. i anticipated and nothing but the best. in the command center, we do actually monitor cnn in the theory that most news of a disaster will be first broadcast by the media in the early morning. i had a cnn oright at my desk. we usually have the sound down, but we are monitoring it is generally. at the time, when we learned of the hijacking of american 11, s about to go to a meeting just before 8:30 a.m., and the supervisor designated to stand
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in my place in my absence called me to say that they were reporting a hijacking garrett i was surprised, because -- i was surprised, because i had not heard about the hijacking for years. i think the last one was in the 1990's. my experience was hijackings -- with hijackings, and our protocol for hijackings was that we cooperate. do anything we can to facilitate the route of flight that the pilot wants. i did not think it was urgent. i went to the meeting. the supervisor came in with the intimation that a flight attendant had been stabbed. i returned to my duties on the
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floor. while we were focused on american 11, the military liaison came up to me and said, you may want to put cnn on upon the big screen. we have eight or 10 large screens that we used to depict information, and other meteorological or air traffic. cnn was reporting that a small plane had struck the world trade center. of course, as soon as we put the screens up, we knew fm the size of the conflagration bet it was american 11, although we had no confirmation of that. we shut down traffic going into the new york area. as we were standing there discussing it, we saw united 175
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come around and strike the south tower. that was a horrible scene, as you all will agree. i am sure most of you have seen it replayed from that day. there were 40 people working in that room. there was a collective gasp of hauberk and dead silence -- of horror and dead silence. most people knew at that time that it was definitely a american and 11 in in the north tower, and that this was not a usual hijack by some deranged individual wanting to go to cuba or released prisoners, or some other story, but that this was a concerted action by a group of people and that truly america was under attack. >> my day on the morning --
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normally come in to work around 7:30 a.m.. it was a gorgeous day in new england. i came in after taking an hour off of the front of the day. i still cannot remember what i d with that power. i came in a 8:25 a.m. the last hijacking we had was in 1993. all i could remember from the last one it was that faa managers want to get involved with the hijack. i remember going downstairs at the time and seeing a way too many people around one scope and most people getting into the way. my intention was not to get in the way, to just wait for someone to call me. a supervisor asked me to come
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and sit at the military desk if i could. i do not normally sit at that position, but i write all of the procedures for it, so i undersnd the position probably better thannybody who works it, so i sat there. we had heard about american 11, about the violence on the aircraft, and about the disnce from new york. the plane was supposed to be at 35,000 feet and it was at 29,000 feet. our concernas that they were headed toward a new york center and we did not know their altitude. we were trying to get fighters up to escort the airaft. there was no mention at all in our rules about intercepted in the aircraft. they just get behind it and follow it, which is what ey did in 1993. we were trying to get them on
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board as well, but the military command was in contact with that day, my original concern was to find out the altitude. did they have altitude finding capability on the same radar we use. we wanted to know their altitude. we knew it was a hijacker, but we did not know the altitude because they turned the transponder off. we watched his ground speed. we were trying to give that to information to the military. they could not spot the aircraft. he ended up going down to new york air space. we transferred over to new york center. we attempted to talk to new york about it and they told us they were too busy dealing with the hijack. we thought they were talking
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about american 11, so we would lead to be. it turned out they were talking about united 175, so there was a lack of communication. and then we heard that a plane hit the tower. we did not think it was american 11, he would not have donehat. we thought it was a small aircraft, a single pilot. our assumption was that it was some other aircraft. we did not have cnn. we started talking and we started getting some locator transmissions coming from the tower, which happens when an aircraft hits. it was about 12 minutes later that united 175 hit, and thais when we knew we were under attack. >> a couple of follow-ups on the comments you have made.
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dan, it seems like you were not ev aware that there were airliner's hitting the towers until 177. >> a major theme is miscommunication. the command centers were trying to get a hold of the situation on a national perspective. we did not even know the full gravity of the situation in new york. we heard both towers had been head. we thought this was a terrorist situation. this was bad. it was not confirmed to us that it was a larger aircraft, let alone an air carrier. go for 06 was the call sign, he
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was making a turn just southeast of the pentagon, when american 77 was acquired on our scope, and i forced the word look upon the track just to get ground information on the guy. we saw him coming in fast, but not outrageous. i said, you'd better call traffic on that guy because these two guys are head to head. he said, traffic, do you see anybody out there? the pilot said, yes, we are turning southeast pound. -- southeastbound. i really did not understand that
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was a hijacked aircraft until it hit the pentagon. somebody ran into the break room and looked at cnn. that is when we learned that there was an issue in new york with air carriers. we were trying to juggle big decisions there. there was some sketches and some miscommunication back-and-forth , and some slowness in realizing that we were dealing with an additional hijack, because by gosh, we already had two.
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>> you talked about the fact that you did not see a need to show right upon the scene because he thought they were dealing with a hijacking, adding experience, hijackings are not very intereing. >> typically, you sit back and follow them. it is a pretty boring event. with too many people standing aroundthey get in the way. there is only so much room around the radarscope. i never got the opportunity to go down to the area. i do not know really what people were watching. mye talked to some of controller friends who said that it was a lot difrent than anything they had ever worked before. there was screaming on as a frequency that was upsetting to the controllers. a good friend of mine that i
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went to the faa academy with still has problems with it today. i worked in that position pretty much the whole day, and of course, other events happened throughout the day, but that was the beginning of a long day, with the overwhelming amount of information that i received during the day. >> after the attacks expanded, there is a hijacking, then a strike at the north tower. at first, there is no connection that they are one and the same. then you mentioned seeing 175 hit the south tower. as thettacks expanded, a lot of air traffic control facilities made the decision to shut down operations. there were airports where the managers decided that they were going to shut down air traffic control towers. i know that your center was evacuated.
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how do these shutdowns affect all of your operations and how you are handling air-traffic? >> as far as the aerospace shutdown for the washington, d.c. area, i have to give credit to my supervisor. he made some great calls. we did not wait for a phone call from anyone. as soon as 77 hit the pentagon, it was obvious that no one should get near washington. an aircraft headed for washington national was turned away. guys outside of dulles airport, a turnaround. we could not trust any crew. we did notnow what we were dealing with. there was a concern about united
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93 heading in our general vicinity. there is a lot of information about that, but we knew he was coming. we knew he was 20 minutes away or something like that. my operations manager made the call, the senior manager on duty that day, get the tower cleared out. get these guys out of there. we are sure they will not hit the airports, they will probably try to hit something downtown. the pentagon was burning. we set up a temporary control tower on the airfield for the personnel out there, but the trade tower itself, we never stopped. of course, we were two stories below sea level with a bunch of concrete around.
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>> you try to get word to the tower to evacuate and they were not picking up the line. >> i wasn't talking to my friend -- i was talking to my friend, and i grabbed my operations manager, told him what was going on. we cannot get through to the control tower. i jumped on the elevator, which was a very uneasy feeling, got on the elevator with my friend and said, we have to get to the tower, have to tell them to get out. i went up there and saw the black smoke. all use of flying through the air was paper. -- all you saw flying through
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the air was paper. it was crazy, crazy, crazy. >> that was from the pentagon. >> that was the pentagon. >> how did you respond to these shutdowns as they began to occur? >> the ability to provide air- traffic control services was nil. we issued orders that no aircraft could take off to go through new york or to new york. that was fairly easily accomplished. any facility that did evacuate, i was not cognizant of what occurred thereafter. i am aware of one tower that
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evacuating that was told to return. i do not remember which one it was. so there was no disruption in service from the command centers point of view. in conjunction with new york, at that time, there was an unspecified problem. they alluded to the fact that they were having problems similar to boston's, which we took to be another hijacking. that happened rather rapidly. the time between when he turned of the transponder to when he impacted was only about 11-12 minutes. all four were airborne before the first one is struck the north tower. the command center is in the business of regulating
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aircraft, and we put a stop obviously, to new york, to boston, and to washington center employ. we also stopped all los angeles baton to flights on the theory that there was some nexus -- los angeles-bound flights on the theory that there was some nexus, and we also stopped all flights coming from los angeles. following the crash into the south tower, we ordered a nation stock, which meant a that no aircraft could leave the ground -- and national stop, which meant that no aircraft could leave the ground anywhere in the country. we also gave the order to
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evacuate any airport, regardless of the destination. -- we also gave the order to land at any airport, regardless of the destination. the pilots and flight attendants on those flights must be commended for their ability to keep people calm. a pilot is in charge of their own aircraft. we can tell them where to go, where to land, but when the airport -- but when the order came out to land and nearest airport regardless of the destination, i had expected some
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push back. a four hundred aircraft -- out of four hundred aircraft in the air, i only got one request t land at an airport that was not the nearest one. i refused the request, because i was concerned that the captain may have been underdress, perhaps high debt. -- hijacked. i do not think the aviation industry got the things that they deserve from the american public -- the thanks that they deserve from the american public, not that the foc should not have done the first responders to deserve all of the prse that they got and should get, but for all of the pilots
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to land planes other than where they should be, to shut down the borders and direc flights away from our cntry, that had never happened before. this was not only executed flawlessly by the american aviation community, but by the canadians, the mexicans, and the europeans. my hat is off to all of them for their flawless execution of a bad situation on that day. >> if i could build on that, it is tough to fathom 4556 aircraft -- never in the history of aerospace -- they're all going to land.
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to put 4500 aircraft on the ground in places where they were not supposed to go at the same time that the military is trying to get airborne and control the chaos is an incredible feat of air traffic controllers and air traffic managers coordinating that. >> just to give us some perspective, i believe 700 landed within the first 10 minutes and 3500 within the first hour. the rest within the second hour. it took out two hours to clear all of our skies. our idea at the command center was to separate the wheat from the chaff. anyone we could control and get on the ground was viously not someone we had to worry about. the military fighters were alrey scrambling to get into the airspace. we wanted to let them do their job and take care of what ever else might need to be done. of course, united 93 -- what i
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remember most about that aircraft is that we were aware of the fact that he was about 20-30 minutes out from washington. we had a report from a small, private aircraft pilot who sought united 93 waggling his wings. that through a lot of ambiguity into this situation, because signal thatniversal cigna the pilot has lost radio. a plane could lose an electronic system, their ability to communicate, even their ability to navigate. even at that junction, minutes before the aircraft hit the ground in pennsylvania, we were still wondering whether it was truly hijacked. we never received any
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confirmation of hijacking, which in my 40- years of aviation, i've always had a confirmation of the hijack, either from the pilot himself or from the hijacker. they would enable us to know. there is never been a situation where hijackers ever flew the plane. that created the biggest paradox for on that day in trying to figure out what was going on. how could a hijacker forced the pilot, either by holding a gun or a knife to his head, force them to plan to the building -- force them to fly into the building. we have all heard about pilots executing heroic actions of flying a plane into an area
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where it would call the least damage. i cannot imagine how a pilot would be forced to fly into a building. it was inconceivable to me and inconceivable to my staff and i think to all air traffic controllers thathat would happen. i lened to expand our thoughts about these things based on 9/11, and i am sure we will not be caught again in that situation. >> when i talk to you during my research, you mentioned the boston center at one point was considered a target. i remember some of the staff there mentioned that it makes perfect sense, if you're going to take out airliners, to take up the air traffic control facilities so that theyanno even monitor and see what is happening in the air space. at some point that morning, boston center was evacuated.
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could you share with us -- you did not leave the building when that order first came out. could you tell everyone about that? >> there were a lot of things going on at different times. we originally had an unidentified aircraft south of nantucket coming in at high speed at about 25,000 feet. our assumption was that it was a coast guard aircraft. that is where they come in from bermuda. we eventually did get a hold of the aircraft, but but for a while it was on the track the we are on. we identified the aircraft, got him and he landed. however, someone had taken the initial calls and determined that that possibly was another 77 on track to boston center. we found that out a couple weeks
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after 9/11. we got calls that hour facility was going to be attacked by an aircraft and we started to evacuate. i was upstairs in my office usually, because i is not always essential. that-i was essential, so i was on the floor. -- that day i was essential, so i was on the floor. someone determined that there was a bomb in the day care center located adjacent to the facility. we were under the premise is that we were going to get hit. at some point in time. it was imminent, is what we were told. every air traffic controller was under orders to get every airplane down. they were told to leave as soon
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as they got their aircraft down. they did what they were told to do, and as each one dead, they left. my responsibility then was -- as they left.id, was toonsibility thaen determine if there were additional hijacked aircraft. we have about 20 that we thought were potentially hijacked aircraft. i remember talking to the montreal center, the toronto them thatd telling we we evacuating. if someone called us on the fun and told us they were turning offheir air space, we would be -- on the telephone and told us they were turning off their air space, we would be shot.
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they took it in stride. -- we would be shocked. they took it in stride. i was concerned for the people at the pentagon. i have a lot of emotion running through mae. my wife had business next door to us, and i thought if a 757 hit and was just a little bit off, it would hit where she works. there was a lot going through me. i was trying to get all of my telephone calls in, and my last telephone call was to the center that didn't unbelievable job that day landing aircraft in -- that did and an
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unbelievable job the day of landing aircraft and halifax. i thought i had been professional and done a good job. i did not find out until a few weeks later how well i did, because i did not get to hear my conversations right away like other people did. the last call i made was the first time my voice cracked. when i hung up, i knew i had to vacate the building. i was kind of matter myself, because i had heard tapes of crashes and things like that, and you cannot believe how professional pilots are in extreme cases. they are going down, and they will talk to you like nothing is happening. i wanted to be that way, beso i was kind of mad myself
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that on my last call my voice started to crack a little bit. our building was built in 1963. since then, it was occupied twenty-four's/7. -- 24/7. this was the first time it would be empty. i remember waiting to see a plane coming into the sky while i was sitting there. we evacuated, came back about 20 minutes later, got the all clear. i was about the third person back in the building. we had gotten all the planes on the ground, with the exception of a few military aircraft. we had a pilot on speaker saying, is anybody there, boston
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center? [laughter] i said, where are you at? they said where they were and that they wer talking to the tower. i said that was good. they will clear you to land. there are a lot of terms we use with initials and stuff. we had an fstp office. i have no idea what that stands for, but they have a room in the building. it is the only room with no speaker, so they never evacuated. one guy came upstairs and look in the control room, where we usually have a hundred and 50 people at any given time, and he came up and said, there is nobody here. [laughter] [laughter]

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American Perspectives
CSPAN September 11, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

News/Business. Historical and recent cultural and political events.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 73, New York 17, Washington 17, Pentagon 15, Pennsylvania 14, America 13, Rendell 8, Boston 7, Michelle Obama 7, Mrs. Bush 6, United States 5, Laura Bush 5, United 5, Salazar 3, Joanne 3, Faa 3, John Murtha 3, Mrs. Laura Bush 3, Shanksville 3, Somerset 3
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